Host Texas A&M sent Cal home after a 3-1 loss in the finals of the College Station NCAA regionals on Monday night.
The Bears beat the Aggies 2-1 in 14 innings on Saturday night, but lost to them Sunday and Monday, sending A&M on to the Super Regionals.
Chris Paul homered for the Bears’ only run.
Cal finishes its season with a record of 36-21.
Top-seeded Texas A&M avenged a loss to Cal a day earlier, posting a 4-3 victory in 12 innings on Sunday evening to force a showdown Monday that will send one of them to the Super Regionals.
Monday’s game between the Bears (36-20) and Aggies (48-12) will be played at 4:30 p.m. PT.
Cal topped the Aggies 2-1 in 14 innings on Saturday after a walk-off home run by Mitchell Kranson.
The third-seeded Bears advanced to the finals of the Texas A&M Regional when Mitchell Kranson delivered a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 14th inning for a 2-1 win over the host Aggies on Saturday.
Cal (36-19) will play Sunday night against the winner of the game between top-seeded A&M (46-12) and Coastal Carolina.
The Bears would need to be beaten Sunday night and again Monday to deny them their first Super Regionals berth since 2011. Freshman left-hander Mike Ladrech (7-4, 2.72 ERA) is expected to start Sunday night’s game.
“Win or lose, that was probably going to be one of the greatest games in program history,” Cal coach David Esquer said afterward. “Thank goodness, it turned into one of the greatest wins in program history, but that was two teams really going at it. It hinged on every pitch and there were so many heroes throughout the day.”
Cal starter Ryan Mason allowed just one run on six hits over eight innings, and relievers Dylan Nelson, Chris Muse-Fisher and Erik Martinez combined to surrender only five hits in six scoreless innings.
A&M scored its lone run in first inning, then was blanked the rest of the way by the Bears’ pitchers.
Devin Pearson went 4 for 7 including a double for Cal and Kranson had three hits.
The third-seeded Cal baseball team got off to a good start in the NCAA tournament, riding a strong starting pitching performance by sophomore Daulton Jefferies to a 9-3 win over Coastal Carolina on Friday at College Station, Texas.
The Bears (35-19) face top-seeded host Texas A&M (46-11) on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Aggies defeated Texas Southern 5-0 on Friday night at Blue Bell Park.
Junior right-hander Ryan Mason (6-3, 3.18) is expected to pitch for the Bears against A&M right-hander Grayson Long (9-0, 2.62).
Saturday’ game is not televised but fans can follow @Cal_Baseball on Twitter for updates.
The Bears picked up their first NCAA tournament win since beating Texas A&M at the 2011 College World Series, thanks for a sharp effort by Jefferies and a big day at the plate by his batterymate Mitchell Kranson.
Jefferies limited the Chanticleers (38-20) of the Big South Conference to one run on three hits over seven innings. He struck out five and won his sixth game of the season.
Kranson was 3 for 4 with a pair of RBIs. Aaron Knapp and Devin Pearson each had run-scoring doubles in the fifth inning as the Bears took the lead for good.
For your Friday Cal reading enjoyment . . .
— Check out staff writer Andrew Baggarly’s story about Jeff Kent’s Cal connection to a Giants’ third-base prospect.
— The women’s basketball team earns coach Lindsay Gottlieb her 100th victory at Cal.
— The Bears’ women swim team continues to dominate at the Pac-12 meet.
Earl Robinson, one of Cal’s greatest two-sport athletes, died Friday at the age of 77 after a long illness.
Robinson, who starred in basketball and baseball in the late 1950s, was inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988. He was voted into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor in 2010 and a year later received the Pete Newell Career Achievement Award, which is presented to the Cal men’s basketball alumnus who upholds the highest ideals of Coach Newell and the University of California.
Robinson was modest in his acceptance of the Newell award.
“When they talk about an achievement award, you must remember that you never do this by yourself,” Robinson said. “It’s because of so many people. It is you that I share this award with. I am humbled by this award. You, the fans, supported us – I don’t care whether Wilt Chamberlain came in here, the great Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, Elgin Baylor or whoever it might be. It was your support that made us feel that we could always compete. And so I accept this award in your honor.”
A graduate of Berkeley High, Robinson was a 6-foot-1 guard on the basketball team, helping Cal to conference titles in 1956, ’57 and ’58. He was twice an All-Coast selection and three times was named to the All-Pacific Coast Conference team.
I visited the Warriors’ practice facility in Oakland on Wednesday to talk with ex-Cal star Justin Cobbs, who was among six NBA draft hopefuls who worked out in front of club officials.
Here’s my story on how Cobbs and former Saint Mary’s College guard Stephen Holt are faring in the leadup to the June 26 NBA draft.
Cobbs also said he and his Cal teammates were completely surprised when coach Mike Montgomery announced his retirement after the season.
Cal’s powerhouse rugby team roared into next week’s national championship with a 58-14 rout of Central Washington in the semifinals on Saturday at Witter Rugby Field.
The Bears (18-2) face two-time defending champion BYU (17-1) next Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City. The Cougars blanked Navy 60-0 in their semifinal.
Cal led 24-0 and was never threatened by Central Washington to set up a matchup vs. BYU in the title game for the eighth time in nine years.
BYU beat Cal 27-24 for last year’s title. The Bears topped the Cougars in five of their other seven meetings since 2006.
TRACK AND FIELD: Cal won the men’s team title at its Brutus Hamilton Challenge, led by senior Tom Blocker, whose winning time of 10.41 seconds in the 100-meter dash was a personal record and elevates him to No. 5 time on the school’s all-time list.
Blocker and football running back Khalfani Muhammad contributed to a second-place finish in the 400 relay with a season-best time of 40.25.
Sophomore Thomas Joyce was second in the Don Bowden Mile with a time of 4:00.49, which ranks No. 8 on Cal’s all-time list. Sydney Gray won the women’s Marilyn Davis mile in a personal-best of 4:22.18.
It hasn’t been a great season for the Cal baseball team, but Brenden Farney’s RBI single sparked a three-run 10th inning and gave the Bears a 7-4 win over Stanford at Sunken Diamond.
The Bears improved to 17-20 overall, 6-10 in the Pac-12.
The A’s optioned former Cal star Tyson Ross to Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday to make roster room for Yoenis Cespedes.
Ross was 2-6 with a 5.94 ERA in nine starts this season. He gave up four runs and three walks in five innings Wednesday in a loss to Minnesota, and he had a 7.34 ERA over his past seven outings.
Cal junior second baseman Tony Renda was named to Collegiate Baseball’s All-America third team.
Renda batted .342 this season with 16 doubles, five home runs and 27 RBI. He also was second in the Pac-12 with 16 stolen bases.